Hi I'm planning on going to Austria in a few weeks and I needed to see how much I should take and about how expensive things were in Vienna in particular I don't want to run up my transaction charges on my Visa card but I dont know what a safe method of taking cash would be--
(I read about theives in a Prague post)!! Help pleasee
Also, if someone wouldn't mind suggesting any accomodation / hostels that are safe and cheap. I hear the city's pretty small and easy to access. Any past stories or suggestions would be lovely
First off, do not panic about the thieves (which are more prominent in Prague than Vienna anyways - remember they are two different countries). Of course there are thieves, and they target tourists because traditionally we have the stuff worth taking. When I was in Vienna, I carried around cash as the Euro is obviously accepted everywhere, whereas my credit cards were not accepted at all places, such as the great street vendors. Just take some basic precautions such as putting larger bills in a money belt, so you only have a small amount of cash in your pockets at any given point of time. When getting cash, use the ATM machines. I tried at one point using a currency exchange place which had the best rates posted, but they took a commission on the exchange, which was posted in very tiny lettering on their rates board. I always found the ATM's gave the best rates, but you do have to pay something like a $5 charge on each withdrawal, so making fewer large withdrawals is better value.
In Vienna, I stayed in a hostel. I tried to book at the Believe-It-Or-Not Hostel as it has great ratings and is well located, but it was completely booked by the time I tried to get in. Instead, I stayed at the Vienna City Hostel, which was great except that it is located a fair ways to the south and you need to take a short metro ride to get into the city. Use a website like hostels.com
to see the price of staying at your preferred location.
The problem with telling you how much you should take is that you did not indicate how long you will be there, and how much sightseeing you will be doing. So instead, I will try to help you know how you can calculate it yourself. First off, I gave an indication of how you can calculate hostel prices. Next, for admissions pretty well everything in Vienna worth seeing has a website that lists prices on it - just go directly to the website to see the admission rates. Finally, for food. This depends on how much you want to eat out, and how much you will be buying from grocery stores. When I was there two years ago, the two of us had a budget of $25 (CDN)/person/day for food, and we fit well into that with eating out a maximum of once per day.
Vienna is a great place, have a great trip!
Vienna is a gorgeous city that I think you will like very much!! (Especially if you like music and history).
I would not recommend carrying cash abroad!! Ahh!! (Personally, I feel rather uncomfortable carrying large amounts of cash around). Other options might include travellers’ cheques, credit/debit cards, or prepaid currency cards. I have always been wary of travellers’ cheques although many come with a bank guarantee if they are lost or stolen. What happens if a store or restaurant doesn’t accept cheques? As for credit cards, you’ll likely be charged fees for every withdrawal or transaction. I used a Caxton global card to travel around Africa on holiday last summer and found the card made travelling so much easier!! I could use it wherever mastercard was accepted and when the ATM ate (yes, it ate my card), a quick phone call and I was issued another one!! There was no waiting in the que in an automated system waiting to be helped for hours on end.
As for hostels, a friend of mine stayed at the Wombats City Hostel and said it was more than reasonable for the price they paid. I have also heard good things about K&T Boarding house, but it is considerably more pricey.
Steven-- thanks for the suggestions about the ATM's and giving me reassurance about the theives but I'm not too keen on those ATM and currency exchange charges! What Shannon's saying about the prepaid cards might be my way to go. This is my first time hearing about the Caxton Card but it sounds like it's a pretty decent alternative to debit and credit cards hm, do you know how I can get one the quickest and easiest? I don't want to carry around the bigger bills in my pockets even if Vienna's safer than Prague. (I'm going to Prague after Vienna anyway !!)
Thanks for the recommendations on the hostel situation too! I've heard good things about the WOmbats City Hostal so I might try to book that one, if it's full the Believe-it-or-not hostel sounds interesting too.
Also, I was thinking a 25 euro limit for each day and popping into supermarkets for some cheap snacks and meals. THanks guys!
I would apply online at http://www.caxtonfxcard.com/. The online application is quick and easy and I received my card within five business days. When are you considering traveling? I would allow a week's processing time to set up the account and then money can be loaded onto the card online! Soooo easy!